Journalism of Courage

Show cause why Emefiele should not contest election, judge tells INEC, Justice Minister

...his lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) says Emefiele is not obligated under the law as an employee of CBN to resign but retire to contest

Contrary to some media reports, the Federal High Court in Abuja did not refuse the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele’s request to restrain the INEC and the Attorney-General of the Federation from barring him from the presidential race.

Rather, the court asked the Independent National Electoral Commission and the AGF, Malam Abubakar Malami (SAN) to show cause why Emefiele should not be allowed to contest the primaries and the 2023 presidential poll.

Justice A. R. Mohammed who gave the interim ruling on Monday, summoned INEC and AGF to appear before him on Thursday, May 12, to show cause why status quo antebellum should not be granted to the CBN Governor.

Persecondnews reports that Emefiele through his lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) had instituted the suit to seek clarification on Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act (as amended) 2022.

Ozekhome averred that the section did not affect him being a public servant and not a political appointee, and therefore, he could run for the post of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria without vacating his position as the CBN Governor.

Emefiele, through the suit, sought seven reliefs from the court, one of which was to declare him qualified to contest for the presidential post.

The reliefs include: “A declaration that the Plaintiff can only be governed by or subject to the provisions of section 137(1) (g) and 318 of the Constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered), which require a public officer seeking election into a political office to resign, withdraw or retire from his appointment at least 30 days to the presidential election, rather than by the provisions of section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, 2022 or the guidelines, rules, criteria, measures or conditions made by the plaintiffs political party or any political party.

“A declaration that the Plaintiff can validly participate in the primary election of a political party and is entitled to vote and be voted for as candidate of any political party of his choice for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for the election to the office of President or any other office under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).”

Having heard the Plaintiff, the court directed the Defendants, including INEC and AGF, to come to court on Thursday, 12th May, 2022, to show why the order for maintenance of status quo ante bellum should not be granted.

The court also ordered the Plaintiff to deliver all processes to the Defendants, including a hearing notice.

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